Life & Style Weekend - - ESCAPE -

While Cra­dle Moun­tain vis­i­tors will ca­su­ally cross paths with wom­bats and wal­la­bies, one fa­mously fierce furry is more elu­sive, ac­cord­ing to [email protected]­dle owner Wade An­thony. “Tas­ma­nian devils are clas­si­fied as an en­dan­gered species due to the con­ta­gious dis­ease known as Devil Fa­cial Tu­mour Dis­ease (DFTD),” he says. “This has caused a sig­nif­i­cant de­cline in the wild pop­u­la­tion of up to 80 per cent and, com­bined with their shy, mys­te­ri­ous na­ture, this makes them very hard to ob­serve in the wild.”

The [email protected]­dle sanc­tu­ary, at the en­trance to the na­tional park, is the only spe­cialised Tas­ma­nian devil fa­cil­ity in the world that al­lows an in­sight into the con­ser­va­tion of the threat­ened species.

“The sanc­tu­ary is a con­ser­va­tion fa­cil­ity for the Tas­ma­nian devil and two closely re­lated species, the spot­ted-tail and eastern quoll,” Wade says. “Join­ing one of our guided tours will pro­vide an up-close ex­pe­ri­ence with and an un­der­stand­ing around the threats that con­front these beau­ti­ful an­i­mals.”

While it’s open all day, the best time to visit is after the sun sets. “Our an­i­mals are pri­mar­ily noc­tur­nal and are out dis­play­ing their typ­i­cal night be­hav­iours. Com­bine this with feed­ing time and it is quite a spec­tac­u­lar sight.” Book ahead to join the devils at din­ner. “The Dine with the Devil tour caters for smaller groups and in­cludes some of Tas­ma­nia’s finest wine and pro­duce while head­ing be­hind the scenes and com­ing faceto-face with some of our res­i­dents. You can even roast a marsh­mal­low on a camp­fire.”

Go to dev­il­satcra­ Photo: Laura Helle

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